Boxing Day

It is sitting at a desk in a study that seems musty but scholarly.  It is not played by Kathy Bates today.  It’s an unknown actress, but she looks exactly like Mama Cass Elliot, except her hair is dirty blonde.

Bruce (Waits this time) enters through the open door.

It is sitting and looking at a blank space on the wall, even though there are some large books on the desk in front of her.  The largest book, lying there separate from the rest, is the only one that bears a visible title:  Traumdeutung.

Bruce clears his throat gently

“What?”  Dark and raspy, nearly matching Bruce (Waits).

“I’ve brought this back for you.”  He has something small wrapped up in a piece of cloth.  “I’ve taken down my Christmas tree, and I assumed that you would want it back.”

“I don’t want the damned thing at all.”

Bruce steps closer to the desk.  “Yes, you do.”  He gently sets it down, right on top of the large book.

She looks at him.  Her eyes seem empty.  Not hollow, just empty.  “Why?”

“Two reasons.  First, it’s part of us, and always will be.  There’s no way to get rid of it in that sense.  Second, you are supposed to…”  He trails off and hesitates.

“Supposed to what?”

“…deploy it.  Now that it’s hung on the tree for a while, you need to figure out how to place it.”

She looks down at the small cloth bundle, and then back up at Bruce.

“Where is Ms. ‘I’ today?”

He shrugs.  “Dunno.  It is somehow important that she’s not here now, though.  No specific P.O.V. today.”

“I wondered.”  She resumes staring at the blank spot on the wall, as if to say the conversation is over.

Bruce turns and walks out.  When he’s just outside the doorway, It speaks again.

“Thanks.”

He looks around.

She keeps staring at the wall.  “Thanks very much, Bruce.”

He regards her for a moment longer, and then responds.  “You’re very welcome.”

He turns and goes.

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